OSHA Fines Southcross Energy Over January Fire

The plant processes midstream cryogenic natural gas for Southcross.

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Federal regulators on Wednesday cited a Texas natural gas company for safety violations following a January fire at its plant near Corpus Christi.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed $112,000 in penalties for Southcross Energy Partners for one willful safety violation and six serious violations.

Investigators alleged that the company failed to properly train operators, update procedures, analyze hardware and software changes and conduct and document inspections.

"Managing worker safety by finding and fixing hazards is the employer's responsibility, but Southcross Energy failed to provide an adequate plan," said OSHA area director Michael J. Rivera. "This situation could have been deadly. Thankfully no one was injured."

On Jan. 20, a pressure-relief device at the Gregory, Texas plant released flammable gas and liquid; the fire burned for more than two hours.

The plant processes midstream cryogenic natural gas for Southcross, which operates six plants and some 3,000 miles of pipeline in South Texas, Alabama and Mississippi.

The company now has 15 business days to comply with the citations, request a conference with OSHA officials or contest the findings.

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